Deadly pub owner detained and admits guilt

CHON BURI: The owner of the Sattahip pub which burned down early Friday morning (August 5), killing 15 people, is in custody at a police station after reporting to police last night.

Mountain B owner Pongsiri Panprasong (head bowed, wearing a cap) is escorted inside the building after arriving at Phlu Ta Luang police station for an informal reading of the charges. Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong

His lawyer said his client had confessed to all charges, reports the Bangkok Post.

Pongsiri Panprasong, 27, reported to Phlu Ta Luang police. He was quickly escorted into the police station building without speaking to the doctors gathered outside.

The detention took place shortly after the Pattaya Provincial Court signed an arrest warrant for him on the following two counts:

– Negligent acts causing the death of others

– Operation of a nightclub without authorization

The pub that burned down, Mountain B, was registered as a restaurant.

Mr. Pongsiri was taken to the cells of the police station after hours of questioning without bail authorized by the police.

Lawyer Anucha Wongsrisat said his client had confessed to the charges and would seek court approval tomorrow by posting 1 million baht in cash as bail.

A blaze emptied the Sattahip district pub in Chon Buri at 1am on Friday, killing 15 people and injuring 38, some seriously. At least 100 pub-goers were packed inside Mountain B when the fire broke out, prompting them to flee for their lives.

The fire started in a roof above a performance stage before quickly spreading to other areas. Investigators are trying to determine the exact cause of the tragedy.

The lawyer said Mr Anucha had promised to pay the families of the dead B50,000 each, with B10,000 for each person injured.

Many families have complained that they have not been contacted by the pub owner since the deadly fire.

The owner’s wife, Anongnart, 31, said she and her husband did not shirk their responsibility and helped the nightlife revelers that night.

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